Six MAC Student-Athletes Named to 2013 Paul Hornung Award Watch List;
Louisville, Ky. - Friday, July 5, 2013 - The Louisville Sports Commission today named 44 multi-talented college football players to the 2013 Watch List for the Paul Hornung Award, presented by Texas Roadhouse. On this year's list are six MAC student-athletes including: KR Dri Archer, Kent State, QB Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois, KR/WR Tommylee Lewis, Northern Illinois, WR/KR Bernard Reedy, Toledo, DB BooBoo Gates, Bowling Green and WR/KR Jamill Smith, Ball State.
Archer, who missed the 2011 season, came storming back in 2012 with a Kent State single-season record 23 touchdowns (16 rushing, 4 receiving, 3 kick returns). His 9.0 yards per carry led the nation as did his 36.9 yards per kick return.
Lynch proved his versatility last season becoming the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in NCAA history to pass for more than 3,000 yards (3,138) and rush for more than 1,500 yards (1,815) in a single season. Last season, the Chicago native ranked fourth in the nation in rushing and had more 100-yard games (12) than any other player in Division I. Lynch led the Huskies to a 12-game winning streak, including a double overtime win over Kent State, and a berth in the 2013 Orange Bowl. Lynch, who finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting last year, earned second team All-America honors from the Associated Press and Phil Steele's Magazine last season and won the Vern Smith Leadership Award as MAC MVP. NIU has launched a Heisman Trophy campaign for Lynch for 2013 centered around the theme, "Jordan Lynch for 6," including a website, www.JordanLynchfor6.com.
Lewis is the Huskies' top returning wide receiver. A native of Riviera Beach, Fla., Lewis was second in receiving for NIU with 539 yards on 48 receptions in 2012. He also added 111 yards rushing. A threat on special teams, Lewis returned 24 kickoffs, one for a touchdown, for 589 yards and had nine punt returns for 77 yards.
Reedy led Toledo with 1,113 yards receiving and 88 receptions (12.6 avg.) and six touchdowns. Reedy ranked second in the MAC in receiving yards (1,113) and receptions (88) and tied for seventh in receiving touchdowns (6). Reedy also ranked second in the MAC with a 11.1 punt return average on 19 returns for 210 yards and one touchdown, while his 27.7 kickoff return average also ranked second in the conference with 32 kickoff returns for 885 yards and three touchdowns.
Gates, a 2012 honoree for the same watch list, earned first-team All-MAC last season at safety, recording 47 tackles and two interceptions. The senior-to-be also served as the team's primary kick returner, averaging 19.0 yards per return and had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown versus Rhode Island.
Smith was named to the 2012 All-MAC First Team as a wide receiver plus was named to the third team as a punt return and kick return specialist. He played in 12 games with 11 starts last fall for the Cardinals. Smith managed 69 catches for 706 yards with six touchdowns last season. He tallied a season best 240 all-purpose yards vs. Eastern Michigan (119 receiving, 100 kickoff returns, 21 punt returns) and 221 all-purpose yards at Indiana (63 receiving, 49 rushing, 109 return). In addition, Smith completed 2-of-2 passes, including a 12-yard touchdown play to quarterback Keith Wenning. Smith tied for 29th in the nation last season with 135.15 all-purpose yards per contest and was 26th in the nation in kickoff returns with a 25.58 average.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its fourth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung.
The 2013 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2012 statistics, career performance and expectations heading into the 2013 season. Profiles of each player and information about the Award can be found at www.paulhornungaward.com.
Three Paul Hornung Award finalists from last season are back on the list in 2013 - Antonio Andrews from Western Kentucky, Dri Archer from Kent State and Marqise Lee from the University of Southern California.
The Watch List is comprised of 19 seniors, 21 juniors and four sophomores, representing 41 universities and 10 conferences that are part of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The SEC is the leading conference with nine players followed by the ACC with six players. There are five players from both the Big Ten and Big 12.
In 2012, players on this year's Paul Hornung Award Watch List accounted for 17,035 rushing yards, 17,112 receiving yards, 17,148 kickoff return yards, 4,874 punt return yards and 350 total tackles. Reminiscent of Hornung during his playing days, members of the Watch List demonstrated a knack for scoring, posting 408 total touchdowns in five different scoring capacities a year ago.
"The Paul Hornung Award Watch List for the upcoming season is an impressive group of players who excel at multiple positions to help their teams win, which is how I played the game," Hornung said. "It will be interesting to see which players excel during the season and emerge as the top choices of our selection committee."
"We have had the opportunity to welcome great young men to Louisville as winners of the Paul Hornung Award in years past, and I believe we are in line to welcome another great player to our community in 2014," Hornung continued. "I look forward to honoring the winner here in Louisville at one of the best banquets the country has to offer for college football players and their families."
2013 Watch List Selections
Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Antonio Andrews, WKU
Dri Archer, Kent State
D.J. Banks, Louisiana Tech
Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
Corey Brown, Ohio State
Isaiah Burse, Fresno State
Trey Burton, Florida
Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest
Brandon Carter, TCU
Chris Coyer, Temple
Quandre Diggs, Texas
Stefon Diggs, Maryland
Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
Tyler Ervin, San Jose State
Cody Fajardo, Nevada
JD Falslev, BYU
D.J. Foster, Arizona State
Jerry "BooBoo" Gates, Bowling Green
Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech
Scott Harding, Hawaii
Akeem Hunt, Purdue
Kyshoen Jarrett, Virginia Tech
Duke Johnson, Miami (FLA)
Christion Jones, Alabama
Marqise Lee, Southern California
Tommylee Lewis, Northern Illinois
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State
Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Venric Mark, Northwestern
Malcolm Mitchell, Georgia
Marcus Murphy, Missouri
LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State
Loucheiz Purifoy, Florida
Bernard Reedy, Toledo
Jamill Smith, Ball State
Damien Thigpen, UCLA
De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Tramaine Thompson, Kansas State
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Trey Watts, Tulsa
The Louisville Sports Commission successfully launched the Paul Hornung Award in 2010 to honor its namesake and native son and to promote outstanding performances by versatile college football players that often go unnoticed. Owen Marecic of Stanford, a two-way starter and All Pac-10 performer at fullback and linebacker, won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award; Brandon Boykin of Georgia won the award in 2011 after excelling on defense, offense and special teams; Tavon Austin of West Virginia won the award in 2012 being one of two players in the nation with more than 500 yards in three different categories (rushing, receiving and kick returns).
Texas Roadhouse signed on as presenting sponsor of the Paul Hornung Award in 2011 and will team with the Louisville Sports Commission to power fan voting again this season. College football fans nationwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite player during the regular season and again during the bowl season. Fan voting will open in late September and factor into selection of the finalists and winner.
The winner will be honored at the official Paul Hornung Award Banquet sponsored by KentuckyOne Health, held at the Galt House in downtown Louisville in late January 2014.
Players from all FBS teams are eligible and appearing on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List is not a prerequisite for winning the Award. The Selection Committee is comprised of 16 national sports journalists and former college and NFL players who vote for finalists then a winner. Their votes are tabulated by public accounting firm Dean Dorton Allen Ford.